The making of the bicultural state of Aotearoa New Zealand is the product of a distinctive postcolonial and neoliberal late twentieth-century history. In this context, a predominantly anglophone settler state finally responded to decades-long claims about Indigenous dispossession by creating the Treaty of Waitangi Tribunal in 1975, an institution that a decade later took a wide-ranging approach to the investigation of historical grievances. The tribunal produced an alternative historiography that imagined a partnership between Māori and the Crown, not only in the service of evaluating past actions but also with the aim of creating better relations for the future. This article offers a brief account of biculturalism and “treaty partnership” in three overlapping modes: as an emergent and then hegemonic political discourse; as generating a new historiography; and in terms of the reframing and bureaucratization of research practices in Aotearoa New Zealand. In this milieu, research ethics is not simply a matter of interpersonal politics but, in fact, has become a matter of governmentality—that is, of regulating the conduct of researchers as subjects of particular forms of state power.

You do not currently have access to this content.